Kamwo Herbal Pharmacy
211 Grand St., 212-966-6370
While it is not often that we think of a drug store as a travel destination, Kamwo Herbal Pharmacy, one of the oldest and largest herbal pharmacies in the country, may well be worth the trip.

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Straight-out the largest Chinese pharmacy on the east coast, Kamwo dates back to its founding in 1973. Over 1,000 varieties of herbs are offered in the forms of various teas, powders, and tinctures, and both certified herbalists and licensed pharmacologists are available throughout the store. This makes it easy for even those new to such venues to shop and enjoy the experience without worry.

Kamwo is a vintage apothecary in action — and that is meant in the best possible sense. On entering the store, you’ll find that the walls are just as you’d imagine you’d fine in your old village herb story (if, of course, it were of Chinese origin) — the walls are lined with drawers upon drawers of medicinal herbs. Herbalists measure these out with handheld scales as you watch.

Kamwo also sells plenty of practical-use, over-the-counter remedies for many common ailemtns, like cough drops and remedies for sore throats, not to mention herbal patches for sore muscles and arthritic pain. “We’re like an herbal Duane Reade,” says CEO Thomas Leung. Even if you’re in perfect health, Kamwo is still an excellent purveyor of all manner of delicious and memorable items. Everything from fine loose-leaf Asian teas to cooking ingredients like cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, and goji berries.

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Best of all, Kamwo caters primarily to practitioners of Chinese medicine. You can find licensed acupuncturists on the premises plying their trade for $80-120, and on Thursday afternoons acupuncture students from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine offer treatments as low as $40.

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So if you’re looking for an exciting place to visit, or even just a nice place to stop on another leg of your trip, try out the Kamwo pharmacy. And to make your trip even more relaxing, start your journey on the soothing Seastreak ferry.

Sea you soon!

The Seastreak Family



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